Wildfires reignite in south western France forcing residents to leave homes

The Local France
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Wildfires reignite in south western France forcing residents to leave homes
Firefighters are at work to protect houses threatened by a wildfire in Saumos near Bordeaux, southwestern France, on September 12, 2022. (Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP)

Wildfires have reignited in the south western France amid unseasonably high temperatures leaving over one 1,300 hectares burned and forcing residents to evacuate their homes.


As parts of southern France bake under record-high temperatures for September, forest fires reignited again in the south west, causing at least 1,300 hectares to burn and forced residents to leave their homes.

A smaller wildfire outside Dax, which is to the south of Bordeaux, burned an additional 45 hectares.

The blazes forced 540 residents in the town of Saumos, located in France's Gironde département, to be evacuated. Four homes were destroyed.


The fires started on Monday afternoon, but strong winds and unfavourable weather conditions made it difficult for the 340 firefighters working through the night to contain the flames.

READ MORE: MAP: Where are the main wildfires in France right now?

Significant air resources were also deployed, including two Canadair planes, two helicopters and a Dash plane.

Images of the firefighting effort can be seen below:

"The winds are turning, and the town that is beginning to be surrounded by flames. Firefighters a little overwhelmed because it is coming from all sides. We are still in the process of evacuating sectors" said the mayor of Saumos to BFMTV on Tuesday morning.

Local authorities for the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and Gironde département released the update below on Tuesday morning, stating that the fire was continuing to burn:

An investigation was also opened to determine the origin of the new flames, as gendarmes in Gironde consider the possibility it was caused by arson.

The wildfires broke out as several towns across south west France recorded record high temperatures for the month of September, with heat brought on by a post-tropical cyclone off the coast of Portugal. On Monday, Bordeaux recorded 37.5C - a peak for September that has not been seen since 1987.

Temperatures were expected to remain around 30C in the Bordeaux area on Tuesday, though the heat was expected to begin dissipating mid-week as rain and storms roll in across the region.

READ MORE: September temperature records broken in France amid new heatwave

Throughout the dry summer - France's second hottest on record - the south west was affected by major fires that burned over 30,000 hectares in La Teste-de-Buch and Landiras.


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